Post-Holiday Recycling!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season! For information regarding Christmas tree recycling, how to safely recycle old Christmas lights, and wrapping paper recycling, see below!

Wrapping paper

Most gift wrap is recyclable, except plastic wraps or metallic papers. All cardboard and paperboard packaging is also recyclable. Please reuse ribbons and bows or discard in the trash.  If you do not have curbside recycling where you live, you may utilize the Town of Normal’s drop-off locations.

Christmas trees

Residents of Bloomington and Normal enrolled in those municipalities’ waste collection programs may dispose of their real (non-artificial) Christmas tree by placing it at the curb for collection on your regularly scheduled waste collection day. As these trees will be chipped into mulch, please be sure to remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, etc. Please do not put your tree or any other waste in the street.

For residents outside of Bloomington or Normal, please check with your local municipality for tree collection options. If you do not have tree collection service at your home or in your municipality, Twin City Wood Recycling will accept your tree for chipping into mulch at their facility at 1606 W Oakland Avenue in Bloomington at a cost of $2 per tree. Call (309) 827-9663 for more information and operating hours.

Christmas lights & other e-waste

Illinois law bans most consumer electronics from landfills–they must be recycled instead. Residents can recycle strings of Christmas lights, cords, and related electronic items, regardless of condition, at one of the many locations listed below.

Did Santa bring you a new TV? Note that only two local sites now accept the older tube-style CRT TVs and monitors for recycling. See “Items Accepted” for each of the e-waste recycling collection points below.

Location: Best Buy, 2103 N Veterans Pkwy Suite 200, Bloomington, 309-663-8090
Items Accepted: Computers, computer accessories, monitors, televisions up to 32″ (flatscreens up to 60″), all types of radios, VCRs, cameras, etc. Damaged or non-working items accepted. Customers are limited to bringing in 3 units per day per household.
Items Not Accepted: appliances, microwaves, TVs that are consoles, rear-projections, or DLPs or larger than 32″, items with freon such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators. No business generated waste.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am-8:00 pm

Location: Home Sweet Home Warehouse Operations, 1700 W Washington St., Bloomington, 309-828-1530
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs,
Microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories
All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices. All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes (ONLY at Mission Mart location)
Items Not Accepted: No CRT (tube-style) TVs or monitors, no VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business-generated waste
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-4:00 pm, 24 hour drop-off

Location: Habitat For Humanity ReStore, 1402 W Washington, Bloomington, 309-454-6047
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs, Microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted. All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes. All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories. All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.
Items Not Accepted: No CRT (tube-style) TVs or monitors, no VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business generated waste
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00 am-5:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am-4:00 pm

Location: Normal Public Works Garage, 1301 Warriner St., Normal, 309-454-9571
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops,televisions, monitors, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs, microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted.
All forms of electronic media: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes. All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories. All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.
Items Not Accepted: No VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business generated waste
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 am-2:30 pm; the first Saturday of every month 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Summer hours 6:00 am-1:30 pm (Memorial Day through Labor Day)

For more information on recycling, hazardous waste disposal, and more, you can always consult other sections of this or call us at 309-454-3169.

Sugar Creek Stewards Workday

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Come join us for our August workday along Sugar Creek! We have had a great group coming out throughout the summer to work on Sugar Creek in Bloomington and in Normal, near Anderson and Tipton Parks, and have been clearing Canada thistle, garlic mustard, burdock and hemlock! In August, we’ll be back along Sugar Creek in the Town of Normal!

The next workday will be Saturday, August 20, from 9 am to 12 pm. Volunteers must be 18 years old or older (or 14 and accompanied by a parent or guardian) and be able to hike along uneven terrain and safely use basic hand tools such as loppers and bow saws. Please wear long pants, closed toe shoes, and bring your own work gloves and bottle of water (reusable bottle, of course). We will work on the 3rd Saturday of the month throughout the year – invasives never sleep, so neither can we!

The Sugar Creek Stewards is a Clean Water Program of the Ecology Action Center, and is supported by the City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal. For more information, contact Marcus Ricci at 309-454-3169, ext. 15, or at mricci@ecologyactioncenter.org.

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Details on worksite  and  meeting location will be provided to registered volunteers prior to the workday.To become a regular EAC volunteer and be automatically contacted for future Sugar Creek Steward workdays, register at EAC-Volunteer.

[Registration link coming soon!]

 

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Composting Workshop

The Ecology Action Center is excited to announce a build-your-own-composter workshop on Saturday, July 23, at 9:00 a.m.  Backyard composting is the easiest way to reduce garbage from home and create rich soil nutrients to feed the garden at the same time.  By taking advantage of natural processes, the amount of residential waste being landfilled can be reduced while also producing a valuable organic fertilizer.

Turn pallets into a compost bin!

Turn pallets into a compost bin with removable front for easy compost access!

The composter workshop will include everything needed to successfully begin home composting.  Various types of compost systems and techniques will be discussed in addition to troubleshooting tips to avoid potential problems.  Participants will make and take home a composter ready for use as well as receive a kitchen compost pail.

Option 1: Wooden Pallet Composter

This collapsible composter will measure approximately 3x3x3 when set up.  It is open on the top, and easy to stir.

Price:  $10 for EAC members; $15 for nonmembers.

Convert a garbage can into a compost barrel!

Convert a garbage can into a compost barrel!

Option 2: Plastic Garbage Cans

This model takes up little room and is easy to duplicate when you need more capacity.  Cans are approximately 30 gallons in size, and participants build TWO composting cans.

Price: $15 for EAC members; $20 for nonmembers.

Workshop space is limited and pre-registration is required. This workshop runs rain or shine. The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your compost bin home. We will be using power tools; safety glasses are required and will be provided. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

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Sugar Creek Stewards Workday

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Come join us for our July workday along Sugar Creek! We had a great group come out in June to work on Sugar Creek in Normal, upstream from Anderson Park, and we decimated the Canada thistle and hemlock populations! In July, we’ll be back along Sugar Creek in the City of Bloomington!

The next workday will be Saturday, July 16, from 9 am to 12 pm. Volunteers must be 18 years old or older (or 14 and accompanied by a parent or guardian) and be able to hike along uneven terrain and safely use basic hand tools such as loppers and bow saws. Please wear long pants, closed toe shoes, and bring your own work gloves and bottle of water (reusable bottle, of course). We will work on the 3rd Saturday of the month throughout the year – invasives never sleep, so neither can we!

The Sugar Creek Stewards is a Clean Water Program of the Ecology Action Center, and is supported by the City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal. For more information, contact Marcus Ricci at 309-454-3169, ext. 15, or at mricci@ecologyactioncenter.org.

Details on worksite  and  meeting location will be provided to registered volunteers prior to the workday.

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REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKDAY HAS CLOSED. PLEASE REGISTER FOR THE AUGUST 20 WORKDAY ANYTIME AFTER JULY 23.

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Rain Barrel Workshop

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The Ecology Action Center is excited to announce our hands-on workshop on Wednesday, July 13 at 5:30 p.m., where YOU build your own water saving rainwater collection and storage container.  You have your choice of a 55-gallon rain barrel or 275-gallon Mega Rain Harvester.  Workshop prices are $45 ($35 EAC member price) for the rain barrel or $105 ($90 EAC member) for the Mega Rain Harvester.

The workshop includes:

  • A reused, 55-gallon, food-grade, heavy-gauge plastic barrel or 275-gallon tote (non-food-grade, MSDS datasheet provided)
  • A flexible plastic elbow to direct rain water from your downspout to your rain barrel. Fits 3″ downspouts.
  • A 6″ heavy duty screen to prevent entry of mosquitoes and leaves
  • High-quality fittings for long life
  • Overflow hose and fittings with mosquito barrier
  • Instruction and use of all tools needed for the project
    Mega Rain Harvester

    275-gallon Mega Harvester!

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    55-gallon, food-grade barrel

  • Workshop excludes installation materials for your specific home which may include concrete blocks, hacksaw, screwdriver, sheet metal screws, etc.

The fine print: This workshop runs rain or shine. The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. The barrels measure 25″ x 35″ and weigh 25 pounds; the Mega Rain Harvesters measure about 4′ x 4′ x 4′ and weigh 50 pounds. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your barrel home. There is a limit of one rain barrel/harvester per household per workshop. We will be using power tools: safety glasses are required and will be provided. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP HAS CLOSED. STAY TUNED FOR FUTURE WORKSHOPS!

Solar Power Hour

Solar BloominSolarBNgton-Normal is a community-wide residential and commercial discount program for solar. Offered by the Ecology Action Center and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, home and business owners in McLean county may participate in this program to help pool their buying power to secure significant discounts that make installing solar more affordable than ever.
The program starts at a negotiated price that’s already lower than average, and the more people participate, the lower the price gets for everyone. The first step toward going solar is attending a Solar Power Hour to learn about the program and benefits of solar.

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Solar Power Hour

Solar Bloomington-Normal is a community-wide residential and commercial discount program for solar. Offered by the Ecology Action Center and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, home and business owners in McLean county may participate in this program to help pool their buying power to secure significant discounts that make installing solar more affordable than ever.

The program starts at a negotiated price that’s already lower than average, and the more people participate, the lower the price gets for everyone. The first step toward going solar is attending a Solar Power Hour to learn about the program and benefits of solar.

Yard Smart Garden Walk

Yard SmartREGISTRATION FOR THE 2016 YARD SMART GARDEN WALK IS NOW CLOSED.

The Ecology Action Center announces its fourteenth annual Yard Smart Garden Walk on Saturday, June 25, 2016. This free tour highlights beautiful and functional yards that protect our environment while benefiting wildlife and use few or no synthetic chemicals.  The event features a plant and garden tool “Freecycle” Exchange. Bring garden plants (please label them!) or tools to give away— everything must be free.

Participants should bring their own water (reusable water bottles, please!) for the lunch and presentation. The lunch is a zero waste event. Participants are encouraged to carpool during the tour to conserve fossil fuels and reduce pollution.

The Yard Smart program promotes a more sustainable and healthier approach to lawn and garden maintenance. Working with nature to build a healthier ecosystem in both the soil below ground and the yard above ground will produce a more beautiful, sustainable and safer environment for everyone— children and adults, pets and wildlife—by reducing pollutants that runoff into our local water supplies. The program encourages local homeowners to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, to conserve natural resources such as water and fossil fuels, and to make room for wildlife in their yards. Yard Smart Certification recognizes local homeowners who use ecologically sustainable practices in maintaining their yards and who realize that their lawn, garden and landscaping decisions affect the health of the whole community.

More information on the Yard Smart program as well as a set of free resource fact sheets is available at www.yardsmart.org.

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Solar Power Hour

SolarBNSolar Bloomington-Normal is a community-wide residential and commercial discount program for solar. Offered by the Ecology Action Center and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, home and business owners in McLean county may participate in this program to help pool their buying power to secure significant discounts that make installing solar more affordable than ever.

The program starts at a negotiated price that’s already lower than average, and the more people participate, the lower the price gets for everyone. The first step toward going solar is attending a free Solar Power Hour to learn about the program and benefits of solar.

Save